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When Ari was in Alamo elementary school, one of his favorite teachers was Mrs. McLaughlin. We went to hear the final oral book reports for the semester with the other parents of the students. Mrs. McLaughlin told us that she always let Ari go last because he was always had the funniest story and was a hard act to follow. There was a floor standing microphone the kids stood in front of while they read from their report. Frequently it was difficult for the kids to hold the paper they were reading from, while holding on to the microphone and focus on the audience.

When it was Ari’s turn, he went to the microphone, took the gum he had been chewing out of his mouth and stuck it to the microphone stand. Then, Ari stuck the paper to the gum, which held it to the microphone at eye level so he could read it hands free.

Everyone laughed and laughed. Mrs. McLaughlin looked at us and said, “SEE?”.

When it came time for Ari to get his drivers license, we went to the San Mateo DMV office. Ari drove on the expressway down to the appointment. It’s about and our drive. About 45 minutes into the drive, taking the Poplar exit off the expressway. there was a sharp right turn to the exit ramp. Ari exited way too fast and couldn’t make the turn. We hit the curb at a high speed and blew out the left front tire; we were only saved from crashing into the cars coming onto the expressway by the height of the curb. The car limped its way across the side street and we stopped at curbside.

This was a good time to teach the “never give up” philosophy. We grabbed the tiny spare tire on a red wheel and jacked up the car to put it on.

We high fived and then continued on to the driving test, which Ari passed with flying colors. This was only the beginning of our many travails with extreme car mania. This was Ari’s first car:


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